You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

A song for the world to see: Digital Creators in Van, Turkey

What do you do when you want to learn to play an instrument, but your school music room doesn’t have the funds to buy them? Well, if you’re a digital native, the answer is easy: make a creative plea on YouTube.

Yusuf and Batuhan, two boys from Van, an rural part of Turkey, wanted to raise funds to improve the music room at their school. And so, they decided to ask using the instruments they had – one desk and two voices – and post their song to YouTube.

Not only are Yusef and Batuhan talented musicians, but they’re also two very smart kids. In effort to get as much attention as possible, they decided to rap and drum – surprising the country at what two rural Van boys can do (it would be ordinary to see boys from Istanbul doing such a performance). Not only do Yusef and Batuhan rap and drum, and do it well, but they rap about math!

The math song video made these two Van boys so famous, they were invited to appear on a program with a famous Turkish TV host.

In this video Batuhan and Yusef perform an anti-drinking and anti-smoking song. At the end, one of the boys makes a (very) public plea to his father to quit smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and they top it all off by a request for musical instruments for their school.

Yusef and Batuhan, two digital natives from rural Turkey, show us the power of growing up in a world with lowered barriers to creativity and participation, and with a different understanding of one’s relationship in and to the world . Batuhan and Yusef have a voice they know will be heard – and they take full advantage of this.

Want to raise money for your school? Do something creative and unique, post it for the world to see, and find yourself on TV.

(thanks to Zeynep Ton and Karim Lakhani for their help on this one!)

– Miriam Simun